After first season with 36ers, what’s next for Kai Sotto?

Filipino center Kai Sotto. Photo courtesy of the Adelaide 36ers.
Filipino center Kai Sotto. Photo courtesy of the Adelaide 36ers.

Filipino teenager Kai Sotto was non-committal when asked about his future after concluding his first season with the Adelaide 36ers on Sunday.

Sotto contributed 12 points in the 36ers’ 93-60 demolition of the New Zealand Breakers, ending their 2021-22 campaign in the National Basketball League (NBL) on a winning note despite missing the playoffs.

He ended the season with respectable numbers of 7.32 points, 4.36 rebounds, and 0.68 block per game while shooting 51% from the field. Sotto averaged 15.2 minutes per game, making 23 appearances for Adelaide.

“The season just ended,” Sotto said when asked about his status for the coming season. “I need more time to think about that.”

The 19-year-old can declare for the 2022 NBA Rookie Draft, although he can also opt to stay with Adelaide. Sotto signed a two-year contract with the 36ers back in April 2021, with an option for a third year.

So far, Sotto is not included in the list of players who have declared for the NBA Rookie Draft. The deadline for early entry is today. 

If he knew of Sotto’s plans, Adelaide coach CJ Bruton gave no hints of it. However, he confirmed that he has already had discussions with Sotto’s father and agent.

“We’ve already had a chat,” said Bruton, who previously said that he expects to see Sotto in the NBA “pretty soon.” “We spoke to his dad, agent, Kai. It’s about him getting better, and he’s doing that and he’s working every day.”

“We look forward to what’s ahead for him in the future,” the coach added.

While he’s not yet disclosing his plans, Sotto guaranteed that the work continues for him.

“For me, work doesn’t stop, I’ll still continue training and developing. Whatever comes after that, we’ll see,” he said.

“I don’t see myself being a complete player right now. So I have to continue on developing, getting better, skills, and especially getting stronger, getting faster,” he also said. “There are a lot of things I need to work on, and this offseason would be a good time for me to get better.”

The 2022 NBA Rookie Draft will be held on June 23 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

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